Driver blames injured biker for North Coast 500 accident
The North Coast 500 is a 500-mile stretch, following the coastline around the Highlands. A stunning route, which is increasingly popular for those on two wheels. It was for this very reason that Mr S planned and made the trip from England to bike the route.
His trip was going well until his approach to Brora. As he was riding behind a Nissan car, the Nissan slowed down and moved to the left of the road. With nothing oncoming, and with the Nissan almost stationary, Mr S overtook the car. As he did so, with no warning the driver attempted to make a u-turn. The car crashed into his bike knocking him to the ground.
The insurance company for the other vehicle involved in the motorcycle accident denied liability. Our Digby Brown Inverness office raised a court action against the driver of the vehicle to obtain Mr S compensation for his injuries and losses.
The insurers denied liability on the basis that their client was intending to turn right at the time of the accident, claiming that the rider attempted to overtake his car, causing the crash.
As this was contrary to our client’s version of events, we needed additional evidence to support the injury case. Our solicitors took a statement from a witness, who was part of the tour and travelling behind our client in the line of traffic who confirmed that the driver had indeed made a u-turn without any indication.
Mr S was self-employed as a bricklayer and was off work for several months, losing earnings, following the accident because of his injuries. Our solicitors used Mr S’s previous pay slips to provide evidence of this loss and the employer he was working for at the time confirmed this was the case.
We were also able to incorporate the help Mr S needed following the accident into his claim using Section 8 of the Administration of Justice (Scotland) Act 1982. This compensated his family for the time they spent providing necessary care and assistance.
Mr S’s jacket and helmet were also damaged in the accident and needed to be replaced, at a cost to our client. We were able to incorporate this into his personal injury action and recover compensation so he could replace these items without having to sustain the loss of doing so himself.
After initially denying liability, the driver’s insurers made an offer of £10,475 to settle Mr S’s personal injury case. Our Inverness solicitors provided their expert advice on this offer and advised this would be under-settling his claim if he chose to accept the offer. Mr S was happy to take Digby Brown’s advice and instructed them to reject the offer.
The driver’s insurers were unwilling to accept Mr S’s loss of earnings claim without bank statements. They wanted to confirm that he hadn’t received earnings from any other employer. Despite the medical evidence that he could not work, and the evidence that he was not working elsewhere, the insurers’ solicitors demanded sight of the wage records. Our solicitors knew this was unnecessary, but provided them with the bank statements.
They then lodged a second offer of £13,275, over 25% more than their previous offer, which our client happily accepted.
Following the settlement, the insurers solicitors sought to restrict our client’s reasonable expenses – they alleged that until the bank statements were provided, they were unable to confirm he was not working elsewhere.
This frivolous position further highlighted the insurance industry approach of treating everyone as fraudulent, until proven otherwise. However, this opposition was defeated by Digby Brown, with the full expenses recovered.
What should have been a holiday along the incredible NC500 turned sour through no fault of his own, but through the work of Digby Brown Inverness, Mr S was compensated for all his losses in full.
“Digby Brown were relentless in pursuing my claim and I would be more than happy to recommend their service to anyone in a similar situation as me.
“I would like to say thank you to my solicitor David McGowan for all his efforts on my case, I really appreciate all he did for me and I look forward to returning to Scotland to enjoy the fantastic roads and scenery on my bike.”